Category #project team   Show all

  • Recruiting and retaining staff

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    Brad Leier, NH’s new NW Recruitment and Retention Ambassador, lives in Terrace on a farm with his wife Dena and their two kids Jackson and Melanie.

    Last year, Northern Health created a new position, a Recruitment and Retention Ambassador for Northwest BC, to assist with staff recruitment and retention initiatives for facilities throughout the region. Brad Leier was hired into the position in November 2022 and a big part of his role is focused on recruitment for the new facilities planned for Terrace: the new Mills Memorial Hospital and Seven Sisters.

    The recruitment aspect of Brad’s role is centered around building recruitment capacity in the Northwest through establishing and maintaining partnerships with community partners including the local schools and school districts, Indigenous employment and training offices, community service groups, WorkBC centres, and post-secondary institutions. Brad’s day-to-day work includes conducting school visits, recruitment presentations, helping prospective staff navigate the application process, participating in career fairs, as well as working with career and employment councillors to increase their awareness of the many careers available with Northern Health.

    The other aspect of Brad’s role – retention – sees him supporting initiatives aimed at creating the best work environments possible across the Northwest.

    Brad lives in Terrace with his wife Dena and their two children, Jackson and Melanie. Moving from Alberta 12 years ago, he now calls BC home. Brad has over a decade of experience in healthcare and has worked in a variety of positions within both the health and post-secondary sectors. When he’s not working, you will find Brad on his small farm – Graham Acres Homestead – where he and his wife are in the process of launching a creamery, thanks to their growing herd of dairy goats

  • Planning for patient care at the new hospital

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    The construction and design of the new hospital and Seven Sisters are still an important focus of the Mills Memorial Replacement project. However, we are also ramping up planning and work around patient care and operations at the new facilities.

    Staffing and recruitment plans underway

    We are currently working to determine the exact staffing levels that will be needed for both new facilities. With an increase in services, a significant increase in the number of staff in various positions will be necessary. Staffing plans must consider many factors, including who to hire, and how to balance the duties and workloads of different staff in different departments.

    Anne Chisholm, Transition CoordinatorTransition Coordinator hired

    Getting the facility ready for patient use includes preparing physical space, equipment, and technology. But people need to be ready too. New space and technology mean new ways of working for staff, physicians, and managers who need to be supported with training and development to provide care and service with the new workflows, new equipment and new technologies. Patients and families and the broader community will also need to be supported to get to know the new hospital.

    Anne Chisholm has joined the project to help coordinate and support staff, physicians, and managers to become ready to provide care, services and supports in the new hospital and Seven Sisters. She has over 35 years of experience in health care, first as a staff nurse followed by many years of management and leadership work in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and British Columbia. Two of her recent projects include the establishment of the Primary Care Medical Unit at UHNBC and the Urgent Care Centre in Prince George. Anne is excited by challenges and successes that come with working collaboratively to solve problems. She will quickly become a familiar face around the hospital. Say hello when you see her!

    More supports

    • A Recruitment and Retention Ambassador position specifically for Northwest BC has been created. The role will play a big part in recruitment efforts for the new facilities in Terrace.
    • A Physician Lead position, who will help with the transition and recruitment of physicians for the new facilities, is in development.
    • A company that specializes in healthcare facility transitions will support the physical move from the current hospital to the new one.

    More info

    For a list of potential employment opportunities read the post: FAQ: How many new staff will you hire?

    Job listings and more info about working for Northern Health can be found at:

  • New faces and new manager on project team

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    Some new faces have joined the project team in the last few months - and one long-term team member has been promoted!

    New Faces

    Natou Kurtz, Clinical Lead

    Natou Kurtz joined the MMH project team in the position of Clinical Lead at the start of 2022. Natou has been working at Mills Memorial Hospital as a Biomedical Engineering Technologist for 17 years. He will utilize his advanced expertise and knowledge of the current site and its operations to advise the design and construction of the new site. Natou was born in Hazelton and has lived most of his life in Terrace. When he is not at work, you can find enjoying nature’s playground in the beautiful Northwest - skiing, ocean kayaking and much more.

    Madison McCann, Project Coordinator

    Madison McCann joined the project team in the spring of 2021 when Project Coordinator Emily Reierson went on maternity leave. Madison supports the project in many ways. Part of her duties include liaising with internal and external partners on ongoing activities; communicating project processes and updates to multiple groups; and providing documentation and direction to address questions or concerns. Outside of work, Madison enjoys keeping her hands busy with creative projects, as well as spending time outdoors.

    Mark Hendricks, Communications Lead

    Mark Hendricks replaced Andrea Palmer as the Communications Lead for Capital Projects at Northern Health in March 2021. Based in Prince George, he supports communications and engagement activities for all capital projects across the region, including the Mills Memorial Hospital Replacement project.

    Sarah Artis, Project Liaison

    Sarah Artis started in her role of Project Liaison in September 2020. She is responsible for all strategic communications and public engagement activities related to the project. Sarah is embedded in the community of Terrace, having lived here for 15 years, and aims to use her community connections for the betterment of the project. Previous to working at Northern Health, Sarah ran her own communications company. She also loves all things outdoors and feels forever grateful for Northern BC’s beautiful people, quiet spaces, and endless adventures.

    New Project Manager

    Shirley Nichol has been working on the Mills Memorial Hospital Replacement Project since 2013, most recently as the Clinical Lead. Shirley was promoted to the position of Project Manager in November 2021. Shirley is utilizing her 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse and 7 years of operational leadership to advise the design and construction of the new hospital. Shirley has lived in Terrace for 25 years, and when she is not at work, you can find her outside – enjoying all of the beauty the Northwest has to offer.

    Continuing to Work Hard

    To meet the rest of the team, go to Meet the Team.

    • Project Director - Paul Rudecki
    • Operational Lead - Chris Simms
    • Design & Construction Lead - Peter Sickert
    • Facilities Maintenance Lead - George Desjardins
    • Information Management Information Technology Lead - Nathan Riley
    • Equipment/Procurement Lead - Bonnie Tapanila
    • Finance Lead - Deb Taylor

    Cover photo: MMH project team members Paul Rudecki, Shirley Nichol, Madison McCann, George Desjardins, and Nathan Riley.

  • Meet the team!

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    February 2020

    Check out who’s who, and what each member brings to the Mills Memorial Project team.

    Photo From left to right, are team members: Paul Rudecki, George Desjardins, Peter Sickert, Chris Simms, Andrea Palmer, Nathan Riley, Deb Taylor, Shirley Nichol and Nicole Demedeiros. Missing from the photo are team members Emily Reierson and Sarah Artis.

    Project Director - Paul Rudecki

    The project director is Paul Rudecki, M. Sc., P. Eng. As his credentials show, Paul is a Professional Engineer and Project Director with Northern Health. His expertise stems from a strong history managing projects in the hospital and healthcare industry as well as past experience in process control, inspection, gas and petroleum. Part of Paul’s work will also include any requirements in conflict resolution and negotiations. Paul has been with Northern Health for more than seven years and looks forward to helping build you a new hospital!

    Finance Lead - Deb Taylor

    Deb is responsible for the project’s financial budgeting and reporting and will review anything with financial impacts, including scope changes. All of our financial needs and wants will be analyzed by Deb. She holds her CPA, CGA designation, and has been in the accounting field for over 20 years, with 11 years at Northern Health supporting various areas such as Home and Community Care, Program Councils, and currently, Capital Projects. Along with spending time with her family, Deb enjoys coaching and playing volleyball, and is an accomplished pianist who once participated in an award-winning piano quartet.

    Information Management Information Technology Lead - Nathan Riley

    Nathan is the Information Management Information Technology Lead, which puts him in front of the design and construction of IT and BioMed design and construction. He’ll make sure that the hospital is built to and exceeding (in anticipation of future needs and technological upgrades) the many IT needs specific to a modern health care environment. Nathan has been responsible for the UHNBC 2nd floor PCMU renovation and the first two Urgent Primary Care Centres in Quesnel and Prince George. He also enjoys playing hockey year round and golf in the summer.

    Design & Construction Lead - Peter Sickert

    Peter has a complex job – he’ll be overseeing the architectural/civil/mechanical and electrical design and construction of the new facility, and making sure that these are progressing according to the project schedule, and remain within scope. Peter is an Architect with 30 years experience. His focus is health care design, with a special interest in facility planning and project delivery. Peter is also an artist and has recently completed his Masters of Fine Art at Emily Carr University (while working full time). Peter enjoys hiking, camping, and field hockey. He has also been hosting a radio show on CiTR (out of UBC in Vancouver) for the past 32 years.

    Clinical Lead - Shirley Nichol

    In additional to continuing her sporty explorations of the gorgeous backcountry of the Northwest, Shirley will spend the next few years using her front-country skills as a clinical lead heading up user group management, infection control, clinical planning, and ultimately leading the relocation to the new facility, along with the requisite staff training.

    Facilities Maintenance Lead - George Desjardins

    George has been involved in planning and adding new services to Mills Memorial Hospital, such as the MRI, CT, Spec CT, and a host of other changes to keep the existing Mills Memorial Hospital current and provide staff with the equipment and space they need to keep our clients close to home in time of need. As a 40-year employee, he has seen the health care industry develop into what it is today and embraces the future technology trends while celebrating and honouring the past in his home life. From spinning vinyl records from a collection that began in the sixties, making noise through Vintage Guitar amps, to massaging the property with a farm tractor four years older than him, he also credits himself as bringing back the peace sign and the term “feeling groovy.” Five children, six grandchildren, and a loving wife keep him smiling, and when asked about a problem, his retort is always, “There are no problems, just solutions.”

    Communication Lead - Andrea Palmer

    Andrea leads the planning and implementation of internal and external communications processes supporting the project. This includes public engagement, stakeholder and government relations, media relations, special events, online (social media and web) communications, and emergency communications. Marking project milestones will be high priority in this work. Andrea is based in Prince George and will be on-site in Terrace frequently. A communications professional for more than a decade, Andrea has held key positions supporting public affairs, media relations, issues management, government communications, and public engagement. Andrea spends her off-time cooking delicious things, running to burn some of it off, and has been known to DJ/MC for varied and sundry events.

    Liaison Officer - Sarah Artis

    Working with Communications Lead Andrea Palmer, Sarah supports the communications needs of the project. Her work includes strategic communications, partnership development, public engagement, and the promotion of awareness and understanding of the project in the community. Originally Sarah moved to Terrace to be a reporter at the local newspaper. Having worked in communications in Northern BC for close to 15 years now, she most recently ran her own communications company serving local First Nations and businesses.

    Operational Lead - Chris Simms

    As Operational Lead, Chris is integral in coordinating the many support services required within the scope of the project. He will also help lead us through relocation management. When he’s not helping his kids test out the snow on local Northwest mountains, Chris can be found coordinating Health Services as the Health Services Administrator for the Northwest communities of Terrace and Stewart.

    Equipment/Procurement Lead - Bonnie Tapanila

    You can’t just go to IKEA to furnish a new hospital with all its needs… Bonnie’s work will ensure that we procure the best equipment we can get, within budget, and also that there are people and processes in place to keep everything up and running (AKA, service contract agreements). Bonnie has been a buyer for Northern Health for 19 years – working on several hospital projects including those in Fort St. John, Burns Lake and on Haida Gwaii. Bonnie grew up in Prince George and loves camping in Northern BC as well as escaping to hot, sunny places from time to time.

    Project Coordinator - Emily Reierson

    As the Project Coordinator, Emily is involved in all aspects of the Mills Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Project. She organizes all meetings between the proponent, project team and the MMH physicians and staff. She’s also the keeper of documents, and creator of many of them too. Before taking her position with the MMH Redevelopment Project Team, Emily worked as the Administration Assistant for Chris Simms, Health Services Administrator (HSA) and Medical Staff. She has worked at Northern Health since 2012.

    Administrative Assistant - Nicole Demedeiros

    Nicole’s role may very well be the glue that keeps this team together. She’ll be handling external and internal correspondence, email management, and all project group scheduling and meetings. Nicole will be tracking action items as well as providing administrative support with bilateral negotiations.